Monday, July 24, 2006

Dateline Roswell: Big Bill Scores There With R's; VP Dick Cheney Sets Visit There; We've Got The Scoop, Plus: More La Politica On A Bloggin' Monday 

Robert O. Anderson
Big Bill probably hosts a fundraiser a day, but one last week in the heart of Republican country had to set his heart aglow, with insiders reporting that some 250 persons--including several prominent R's--turned out for a $100 a plate lunch at the new Roswell home of Jeff Wilson, President of the NM Cattle Baron Restaurants and himself an avid R. The Guv's successful Chaves county invasion shows that Republican Guv nominee John Dendahl still has work to do to consolidate his base before moving to grab Dems and independents.

Among the prominent R's on hand to pay homage to Big Bill was legendary NM oilman Robert O. Anderson, 89, and his son Phelps Anderson, a former GOP state representative and national committeeman and
candidate for the 2002 GOP nomination to succeed U.S. Rep. Joe Skeen. (Steve Pearce won.) Phelps is also in oil and gas.

Roswell is home to the leaders of a breakaway GOP faction, State Rep. Dan Foley and State Senator "Lightning" Rod Adair. Dendahl, an ex-GOP chairman, helped them lead the ouster of Ramsay Gorham from the party chairmanship. Roswell is reliable Republican country and it is essential that Dendahl carry it big if the Guv is to be given any kind of challenge in November.

Richardson didn't do badly there in 02', holding R Rival John Sanchez to 53%, with the Guv getting 45% and the Green candidate 5%. Could he do even better there this time? That's the question in light of that fundraiser. The bottom line on this one is that Dendahl may be forced to spend more time and money in the area than he would like, preventing him from moving into areas rich with soft D's.


Can Dendahl attract upwards of 85% of the Republican vote this year, a number not out of the ordinary? It may be tough. In 02', according to Brian Sanderoff of Research & Polling, Sanchez only managed to get about 70% of the GOP vote. And here's another tidbit from Sanderoff and his numbers crunchers to keep in mind. "The reason Richardson did so well (56% statewide) was because he held on to the vast majority of the Anglo conservative Democrats. One of the reasons he performed well among the white conservative Democrats was because the Republican candidate was a Spanish surname." offered Sanderoff.

So the next time you see Big Bill in a cowboy hat or riding a horse, keep that in mind.


Certainly the R's are not going to cede their prime Roswell territory to Big Bill and to that end they have slated a big money visit for Vice President Dick Cheney in the SE NM city for August 15th. Cheney's opinion polls have been in the basement for months, but he is still a formidable fundraiser among the affluent GOP base and his stop here is aimed at taking advantage of that appeal.

To take part in a roundtable with the veep and GOP member of NM 's congressional delegation--Domenici, Pearce and Wilson--you need to pony up $5,000. It's a thousand a pop for a photo with the nation's #2 and for those who want the cheap seats, it'll cost $300 a person for a reception.

The event will take place at Tom Visser’s Jinglebob Land and Livestock Company on the Old Dexter Highway. Now that's "Little Texas!” And guaranteed to be more friendly for the controversial VP than the big city of ABQ.

The money raised will go the GOP's 2006 "Victory Committee" aiding GOP candidates as well as the get-out-the-vote effort.


Let's move it over the to the D's and specifically the Patsy Madrid-Heather Wilson face-off for the ABQ congressional seat. I must have been on blog overload late Wednesday night as I misinterpreted my Alligator info and said Dem Patsy had debuted on TV with one positive spot. But there was another one responding directly to Heather's initial ethics blast. Here it is in Quicktime. See my Thursday analysis for more.

And if that wasn't enough confusion, I got zinged by an in-the-know Madrid fan for saying the "positive" Madrid ad appeared to be made well in advance of the Heather attack ad.

"Your blog suggested that Patsy's (positive ad) was nice because it was probably shot before Heather's attack ad. Wrong. Patsy's ad was shot on the morning of Saturday, July 15. I was part of the crowd shot from behind. Heather's attack ad first aired on Friday, July 14. Therefore, Patsy's response consciously took into account Heather's ad. When are you buying lunch. I am starved."

OK. I think I got that, but buy lunch? Now I have to pay for my errors--literally? Hey, this ain't the New York Times. The expense account is tapped.

And another note on this race. Our exclusive report revealing that the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has set aside well over a million dollars in ABQ TV money for Madrid has been confirmed, with the DCCC announcing a commitment of $30 million to key U.S. congressional races, including the ABQ battle. But Heather fans needn't worry too much. We're sure the national R's will come through for her. But campaign finance reform looks like an uphill climb. The lobbyists for the TV stations will do all they can to keep this gravy train rolling.


Finally, on this sunny New Mexico Monday, this from new reader and retired City of Albuquerque chief attorney Jim Foley.

"Joe, today I found your site. You have a bit of (the late political reporter) Ernie Mills and (the late syndicated columnist) Fred McCaffrey in your prose. It's good to see fairness too. I'll put the page on my list to watch. Keep it up!"

Jim, thanks for including me in that company. Ernie and Fred were terrific and are missed, as is the very much alive onetime ABQ Journal columnist Larry Calloway. They all had strong personal opinions, as I do, but believed the essence of credible analysis is to not deny those opinions, but to set them aside, as best you can, when you hit the typewriter keys. The other thing we believe in around here is passion for your topic. If you don't have any, why write a column or anything else?

Thanks for the comments, corrections, compliments, criticisms and news tips. Email them from the top of the page. Back tomorrow with more New Mexico politics.

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